Back in December we asked “Will CIA Director Mike Pompeo Replace Rex Tillerson As Secretary Of State?” The answer, as of moments ago, is yes. Moments ago, the WaPo first reported, and then President Trump tweeted, that he has ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replaced him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, launching a major change to his national security team amid delicate negotiations with North Korea.
Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2018
Tillerson had learned his fate last Friday, according to the Washington Post, when Trump asked Tillerson to step aside, causing the embattled top diplomat cut short his trip to Africa on Monday to return to Washington, using illness as an alibi. He will be replaced by Mike Pompeo at the State Department, and Gina Hapsel — the deputy director at the CIA — will succeed him at the CIA, becoming the first woman to run the spy agency, if confirmed.
According to WaPo, the president — who has long clashed will Tillerson, who he believes is “too establishment” in his thinking — felt it was important to make the change now, as he prepares for talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, as well as upcoming trade negotiations, three White House officials said.
Furthermore, it is worth noting that Tillerson’s sacking comes just hours after the now former Secretary of State said that Russia is “clearly” behind the Skripal poisoning which “will trigger a response.”
In a statement issued to The Washington Post, Trump praised both Pompeo and Haspel.
“I am proud to nominate the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Mike Pompeo, to be our new Secretary of State,” Trump said. “Mike graduated first in his class at West Point, served with distinction in the U.S. Army, and graduated with Honors from Harvard Law School. He went on to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives with a proven record of working across the aisle.”
The president continued, “Gina Haspel, the Deputy Director of the CIA, will be nominated to replace Director Pompeo and she will be the CIA’s first-ever female director, a historic milestone. Mike and Gina have worked together for more than a year, and have developed a great mutual respect.”
Trump also had words of praise for Tillerson: “Finally, I want to thank Rex Tillerson for his service. A great deal has been accomplished over the last fourteen months, and I wish him and his family well.”
“I am deeply grateful to President Trump for permitting me to serve as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and for this opportunity to serve as Secretary of State,” Pompeo said in a statement. “His leadership has made America safer and I look forward to representing him and the American people to the rest of the world to further America’s prosperity. Serving alongside the great men and women of the CIA, the most dedicated and talented public servants I have encountered, has been one of the great honors of my life.”
Haspel in a statement also said she was excited for her promotion.
“After 30 years as an officer of the Central Intelligence Agency, it has been my honor to serve as its Deputy Director alongside Mike Pompeo for the past year,” she said. “I am grateful to President Trump for the opportunity, and humbled by his confidence in me, to be nominated to be the next Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.”
Finally, if it is Trump’s intention to keep crushing the dollar with every incremental announcement, he is succeeding.